Amy Poehler is hosting a dinner party and you're invited! Welcome to the audiobook edition of Amy Poehler's Yes Please. The guest list is star-studded with vocal appearances from Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy’s parents - Yes Please is the ultimate audiobook extravaganza.
I found this book enjoyable although I have never watched Parks and Recreation nor seen most of Amy's other works. I think the wide range of ratings from 1 to 5 stars is that people either expected a comedy skit (and to be laughing at the turn of every page) or they're die-hard fans and would love everything she did. If you like her sense of humor, this is an entertaining read and something to put you in good mood. A few times, she jumps around as streams of thoughts lead from one memory to another. It may seem obvious to her to switch from college days back to a childhood memory. It's disjointed for the reader to figure out when the story transitioned to a different time period.
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI's lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss' head.
The book should have been titled "Start at No in Negotiations." Often, a "no" means "wait" or "I'm not comfortable with that." Probe deeper and listen carefully to uncover key information behind the "no" (such as "I want to but I don't have the money now" or "it is actually my spouse, not me, who doesn't agree"). This is a much more effective approach than trying to get the counterpart to say "yes," which the person might say just to get rid of you.
The author, who is a former FBI hostage negotiator, included too many hostage stories. These situations where lives are on the line, the negotiator would never split the difference (e.g., you take 2 hostages and I take 2 hostages) and hence, the book title. But for everyday situations (like negotiating with a family member, buying a car, or working with colleagues), the stories aren't that useful and such a perspective on negotiations isn't practical.
I recommend starting with Chapter 9 to understand the types of people in negotiations:
Analyst - methodical and diligent; need time to go over facts and consider the options
Accommodator - builds rapport through a continuous free-flowing exchange of information; not necessarily focused on the desired outcome
Assertive - direct and candid; getting it done quickly is more important than spending more time on getting it done right
Then start from the beginning and practice the skills, including:
Mirror - repeat the last three words (or the critical one to three words) of what someone has just said to draw out more information from the person
Label - validate someone's emotion and fears by acknowledging it (such as "it seems like you feel you're not being appreciated")
Accusation List - list the worst things the counterpart could say about you (such as "you probably think I don't spend enough time on this project") and state the goals (such as "I could trust you to do your part without supervision" and "we all want this project to be successful").
Ask questions, collect information, and consider creative ways to get to your goals (such as non-monetary items - amenities, upgrades, positive reviews, and referrals). There is much more in the book that goes through the nuances of what to say, how to say it, and how to behave. It is a book that you need to read slowly, take notes, and practice the tips before moving on to the next chapter.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
People start dropping dead around Charlie, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death.
This dark comedy is funny, silly, and strange as most grim reaper comedies are. Charlie Asher is trying to run his second-hand shop, raise his little girl Sophie, and still find time to hunt for soul vessels as a newly appointed Death Merchant. The characters are quirky and entertaining, especially as some find themselves entangled in the struggle that Charlie is having with the Forces of Darkness. Few things that I didn't like about the book were the author's frequent use of "beta male" and parts of ending. Instead of simply describing Charlie's motive or actions, the author would use the label "beta male," explain the trait (such as a male who avoid risk and confrontation, unlike an alpha male who possess strength), and then return to the story. As for the ending, pieces didn't tie up nicely as I would have liked. It was so close to being an excellent read except for the last chapter.
England, 1914. Joanna Blalock's keen mind and incredible insight lead her to become a highly skilled nurse, one of the few professions that allow her to use her finely tuned brain. But when she and her 10-year-old son witness a man fall to his death, apparently by suicide, they are visited by the elderly Dr. John Watson and his charming, handsome son, Dr. John Watson Jr. Impressed by her forensic skills, they invite her to become the third member of their investigative team.
Fans of Sherlock Holmes are particular about what they expect from a Sherlock Holmes pastiche - they will either love it or hate it. The book was well written and many of the deductions are clever. There were a few obvious clues in the beginning, which a rookie detective would have observed let alone Dr. Watson who worked alongside with Sherlock for so many years. But it gets better as the story continues. I enjoyed how the daughter sometimes used a softer, more effective approach when questioning witnesses, something that Sherlock Holmes would not have employed. I didn't care for the introduction of the next generation for all the main characters - Dr. Watson's son, Inspector Lestrade's son, and Sebastian Moran's son. And they all played the same roles as their fathers. What are the chances of that and this case bringing them all together??
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone - and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything....
The mystery surrounding Mr. Penumbra's little bookstore continues all the way to the end of the story. Unless you like the characters (unemployed web designer Clay Jannon, his young geeky San Francisco companions, and Mr. Penumbra who doesn't own any current electronic devices), you might find the story to be slow. It's light and entertaining, especially if you're familiar with the internet jargons and have a fondness for books.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
How to enrich your life and destroy doubt in five seconds. Throughout your life, you've had parents, coaches, teachers, friends, and mentors who have pushed you to be better than your excuses and bigger than your fears. What if the secret to having the confidence and courage to enrich your life and work is simply knowing how to push yourself?
The 5-second rule is the moment you have an instinct to act on a goal, count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and physically move (or your brain will stop you with an excuse). This starting ritual will help to change many of your behaviors. There are 5-second moments all day long - wake up early, exercise, clean up, organize files, pay the bills, do the laundry, don't have that drink, don't smoke, update your resume, and speak up in a meeting. These are all simple actions that can be done (and you probably had these thoughts a hundred times already). Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... do it. This is a better alternative to sitting there and worrying or complaining about it. There is no right time or the feeling of being ready; just count down and do it.
There isn't anything earth-shattering about this advice. If you tried it and it does work for you, read the book to stay motivated and be inspired by stories of other people who have changed their lives.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Michael K. Simpson, a senior consultant to FranklinCovey, has spent more than twenty-five years training executives to become effective coaches, mentoring and guiding leaders and managers to encourage and develop the talent of their people - the most important asset in any organization. In this guide, you will acquire the skills to coach your personnel from the ground up, maximizing their potential on a personal level, as members of the team, and as contributors to the organization as a whole.
I give this 3.5 stars. The 4 principles of coaching are:
- Trust: trust others and be trustworthy
- Potential: find out what the individuals need and help them grow
- Commitment: help individuals develop a sense of purpose
- Execution: help individuals discover their desired destination to execute worthwhile goals
The section for the 7 coaching skills provide actions for implementing the above principles (like how to develop trust, how to give feedback, how to seek strategic clarity, and how to execute flawlessly). The advice in this book isn't much different from a management book. Becoming an effective manager is about understanding each individual in the team, managing/developing those individuals based on their unique needs, and leading the team to accomplish a shared goal. The only new insight is helping individuals in the middle improve their performance to have a larger impact on long-term success. If a manager focus on top performers and they leave the company, it will create a huge talent gap. If a manager focuses on weak performers to bring them up to a minimum quality level, then the other team members who could be adding more value are not receiving the guidance and attention to make that happen.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Over the last few decades, networking has devolved into an endless series of cattle call events full of open bars and closed fists. Perfect strangers, after a long day at the office, agree to show up and bump into each other, randomly exchanging business pitches for business cards. Needless to say, traditional networking isn't working anymore. For successful 21st century business people, large networking events and the mountains of business cards they produce have become a waste of time and valuable resources.
I give this 3.5 stars. Some of the actions aren't for the average person, like inviting a diverse group of highly successful professionals to a lunch (your own network event) to meet other successful individuals and help each other in their careers and businesses. Most of the actions are for building a client base, such as getting to know a wide variety of experts (a good accountant or a good attorney) so you can refer them to people in your network when they are in need of such services. They'll remember your help and the person who gained a new client may refer new clients to your business. Also, you can make it easy for your network to recommend you by sending an email indicating if they know someone in need of (trigger event like getting married or having a baby), you can assist by providing (a value like financial planning services). Your friends and network connections aren't thinking about the work you do. But by identifying the trigger events, they might know someone in those situations, which will trigger them to think of you for the service you mentioned.
When you react, the event controls you. When you respond, you’re in control. Verbal Judo is the classic guide to the martial art of the mind and mouth that can help you defuse confrontations and generate cooperation, whether you're talking to a boss, a spouse, or even a teenager. For more than a generation, Dr. George J. Thompson's essential handbook has taught people how to communicate more confidently and persuasively in any situation.
This book has a lot of examples and techniques for having conversations in extremely confrontational situations, like with criminals/culprits, angry customers, and difficult coworkers. Since the author is drawing from his work experience in the police force, the emphasis is on defusing a situation. This may not apply to most people in their daily interactions with people.
There are some good suggestions on statements not to say (you wouldn't understand, because those are the rules, it's none of your business, what do you want me to do about it, calm down, I'm not going to say this again, I'm doing this for your own good, and why don't you be reasonable). These statements put the listener off and never make the situation better. The author gives alternatives to all these statements (let me try to explain this, the reason for this decision is..., I'm not comfortable talking about this, sorry I would like to help but I can't, it's going to all right, talk to me, it's important you understand this so let me say it again, and let me see if I understand your position). Essentially, regardless of how the other person is behaving, treat the person with dignity and respect. The goal is to move the conversation in a positive direction, not escalate it to anger and violence. It's more important to be effective than to be right in a conversation.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Trevor Corson takes us behind the scenes at America's first sushi-chef training academy, as eager novices strive to master the elusive art of cooking without cooking. He delves into the biology and natural history of the edible creatures of the sea, and tells the fascinating story of an Indo-Chinese meal reinvented in 19th-century Tokyo as a cheap fast food.
The book is part story following Kate, a student at the California Sushi Academy, and part history. It seamlessly introduces the history of sushi among scenes with Kate learning to be a sushi chef. If you enjoy sushi and are familiar with the Japanese words used in the cuisine, this book is entertaining and filled with interesting facts. For example, you are supposed to use your hand to pick up the sushi, not use chopsticks. Dip the sushi with the fish piece down in the soy sauce, not the rice (which will cause it break apart). Eat the entire sushi piece in one bite. Eat the pickled ginger to cleanse your palate between sushi dishes; it is not an appetizer to be completely eaten at the beginning of the meal.
A shortcoming of the book is Kate, who is squeamish about cutting fish heads and eating octopus, among other things. Occasionally, the author refers to the Japanese comic book Sushi Chef Kirara's Job in which the female protagonist is preparing sushi correctly. Instead of a low performing student and a made-up character, the author should have selected a real student with potential and followed that person's progress through the semester.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful